Watch Your Step While Shooting

Horses in Pasture

I wanted to test the new Canon 24-105mm IS L Zoom Lens, which I'll write about in more detail in a later post. Fortunately for me, there was a break in the rain up here in Northern California, so I mounted the 24-105mm on my Canon 5D and dashed off for a walk. I'm lucky because I have some great walking paths that provide lots of wildlife and vistas. A while into my stroll, I noticed a tempting shot and scampered up this slight grassy rise to capture a scenic with horses feeding in an open field.

After recording a few frames, I pivoted around to step down from the grassy rise and return to the trail. In mid-step, with right foot in the air, I noticed a snake curled up right where I was going to plant my foot. I awkwardly redirected my landing spot to the left of the snake so as not to cause harm to either of us. Because it was cold, he continued to watch me with a wary eye, but not move.

Since I managed to avoid stepping on him, I then took a short series of frames with the new Canon 24-105mm lens. He continued to watch me until I backed away and went about my business.

Snake in the Grass

I pass this tale along because it was a good reminder for me to watch my step while shooting. I tend to get absorbed in what I'm doing, sometimes forgetting about my surroundings. This can be dangerous in nature.

If you have a anecdote along these lines, please share it with others in the comments below. In the meantime, beware of snakes in the grass...

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Wow! You were very lucky you saw the snake, Derrick! Your incident brought to mind a harrowing situation I had while filming from a helicopter in Kauai while on my honeymoon. The 'copter had no doors, and the only type of protection was a flimsy lap belt. In the excitement of shooting my video of the breathtaking canyons below, I failed to notice that my lap belt had come undone. Thankfully, the pilot calmly buzzed me on my headset and told me that my belt had become unbuckled. After the flight, the reality of the situation hit me. I couldn't help but feel lucky that I hadn't fallen out.

There were a couple of deserted barns close to my house that had been white-washed and were close to falling down. I knew the property was scheduled to be demolished and had taken many photos of the place hoping to get the right one. One rainy, stormy afternoon the sun came up bright with the background sky still black and foreboding. I knew the barns would look great against this backdrop. I grabbed my camera and rushed out to the spot. I rested my camera and my upper arms on the fence for stability and was immediately jolted by the electric fence! I flew back, landing on my bottom and my camera flew over the fence into the grass. In my haste, I had not noticed that the fence was electric and in operation. It took me several minutes to come back down to earth. The good news is that I got the shot I wanted.

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